Konstantin Mikhailovich Simonov (Константин Михайлович Симонов) was born on November 15 (28), 1915 in Petrograd. Simonov is a famous writer, poet and journalist. His works written during the war years reflected not only reality but also a kind of prayer. An example would be the poem, “Wait for Me” composed in the summer of 1941 and dedicated to Valentina Serova which still to this day gives hope to soldiers on the battlefield.
His mother, Princess Alexandra Obolenskaya, devoted her life to raising her son. His father, Major General Mikhail Simonov did not return from the front during the First World War.
Simonov’s real first name was Cyril (Кирилл) but due to pronunciation problems, it was changed to Konstantin.
In 1919 his mother moved to Ryazan and married Alexander Ivanishev who was a military teacher. He played a very important role in the life of Konstantin Simonov.
Konstantin’s childhood was spent in military camps. After completing his 7th year of school, he entered the FZU factory school, then worked as a metal turner, first in Saratov, then in Moscow where the family moved in 1931.
He continued to work for a year after entering the literary institute named after AM Gorky in 1935, and then went to school full-time. In 1936 his first poems were published in the magazines “Young Guard” and “October”
In 1938 he graduated from the literary institute and was admitted to the Union of Writers of the USSR. His work “Pavel Cherny was also published that year.
Throughout World War II, Simonov worked as a war correspondent. He participated in the main battles of the Soviet army, visited all the fronts, and witnessed the capture of Berlin. In 1942 he was given the rank of senior battalion commissar, and in 1943 the rank of lieutenant colonel, then colonel after the end of the war. Konstantin spoke about the heroism of Russian soldiers and the difficulties of life on the front line. During the war years he wrote “Russian people”, “Wait for me”, “So it will be”, as well as the story “Days and nights” and two collections of poems “With you and without you” and “War”
After the war Simonov became the author of many novels, short stories, plays and poems, but he was also the editor of the magazine Novy Mir, then Literaturnaya Gazeta.
Many iconic films were made based on Konstantin Simonov’s books, such as “A Guy from Our Town” in 1942, “The Immortal Garrison” in 1956, “The Living and the Dead” in 1964, “Retribution” in 1967, and many more.
He was married four times and had one son and two daughters from his different marriages.
Simonov died on August 28, 1979 at the age of 63 from lung cancer. His body was cremated. His ashes were scattered on the Buinichsky fields where a terrible battle had taken place. About this he wrote:
I wasn’t a soldier, I was just a correspondent, but I have a piece of land that I won’t forget for a century – a field near Mogilev, where for the first time in July 1941 I saw how ours was knocked out and burned, in one day 39 German tanks…
A monument was erected for him at Saratov Vocational School No. 2 in 1980, as well as several memorial plaques in Ryazan, Saratov and Moscow. In addition, several cities have named streets in his honor.
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Biography of Konstantin Simonov
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Simonov, Konstantin Mikhailovich
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